With the recent flurry of online innovation and high profile tech IPO’s – it almost feels like we’re on to round two of the dot-com boom. However, amid all of the flashy new apps, tech start ups, and hyped IPOs, we must remember that not all of these companies will be winners. It’s unlikely that there will be a success as big as Google, or a failure as big as Pets.com – but we’re bound to see a variety of results in between over the next 5-10 years.
Here are my predictions for technologies that will be sustainable and long lived, and for those that will turn out to be nothing more than high tech hula hoops.
Video Conferencing (Apple’s Face Time): Fad.
The first video conferencing technology was pioneered in the 1980’s and has never appealed to the mass market. It’s somewhat sad, but after the novelty wears off, the truth is we just don’t like looking at each other that much.
Location Based Mobile Apps: Sustainable
Whether its hackers in China stealing our credit card numbers, or publicized nude photos of a lascivious government official, not a day goes by without a news story centered on privacy concerns. Older generations, in general, are extremely worried about maintaining their privacy. Younger generations are not – and they won’t think twice about continuing to put more of their personal information (like their physical location) online.
Photo Sharing: Partially Sustainable
Somehow it’s become socially required for new parents to amass a nearly un-reviewable volume of family photos. This over-documentation, which will someday haunt all children born after the invention of the digital camera, will continue to fuel the development of more advanced photo sharing technologies. That being said, the photo sharing space (in current state) is comically crowded and a consolidation is inevitable.
This one may be controversial. You could probably find a myriad of statistics suggesting that Facebook is thriving and growing every day – and I don’t doubt that it is. What I do know is that after a while it gets old and tedious to hang on the insignificant details of your friends lives. Facebook will always be around, however I think it will soon fade from a vibrant social network into more of a glorified online phone book.
Apple Mobile Phones: Fad
I really hope this one is not true – I think Apple products are elegantly designed and a pleasure to use. However it does not take much imagination to predict Google’s open source Android platform racing past Apple’s iOS, just like PC’s raced past Apple computers in the 1990’s.
What do you think? Are there any technologies that you predict to be sustainable or fads?